Last month, Sony revealed in a teardown video that the wavy white faceplates that give the PlayStation 5 so much of its substantial bulk are easily removable by hand, without the use of tools. That caused some to hope for the return of an aftermarket for customizable, Xbox 360-style faceplates to change the look of the system in your personal entertainment center.
Sony, apparently, is not among the hopeful. The company has reportedly threatened legal action against one of the first companies to design and attempt to sell custom PS5 faceplates, first for trademark infringement and then for alleged infringement on intellectual property.
ThePlateStation.com (archived version) was “born out of the single desire to create a Matte Black custom faceplate, simply because we believed it was what the PS5 community deserved,” the site read. The site went up last month promising “unofficial third-party accessories” for the PS5, including a number of colorful $39.99 faceplates that it planned to ship within two weeks of the system’s November 12 launch.
As Video Games Chronicle reports, though, Sony quickly reached out to put a stop to the effort. “After only a day of our website being live, Sony’s lawyers asked us to change our name (at the time, PlateStation5), due to trademark infringements,” a representative for the renamed CustomizeMyPlates told the site.
The plate-makers thought that name change would be enough, they said, since Sony only had “pending patents” on the faceplate design itself. “But then Sony’s lawyers told us it was their opinion Sony’s intellectual property extended to the faceplates and that if we continued to sell and distribute them in any country, we would end up in court,” the CustomizeMyPlates representative continued.
Sony representatives were not immediately available to respond to a request for comment from Ars Technica.
Following the legal threat, ChangeMyPlates says it has canceled and refunded its existing pre-orders for custom faceplates. The site now offers “armored” console and controller skins for the PS5 in “peel and apply” vinyl, rather than wholesale faceplate replacement, with delivery expected by the end of the month.
Listing image by CustomizeMyPlates